Matthew


Make Disciples, Not Converts

Different denominations of Christianity take vastly different approaches to growing the faith. For some, just bringing people into the fold is enough—make as many converts as possible. But Yeshua's Great Commission imperative is to make disciples—people who organize their entire lives around their commitment to following the Master.


From Sabbath to Sunday?

Hymns, sermons, and liturgies worldwide commemorate the resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah at dawn on Sunday. Yet when Matthew referred to a time “after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week,” morning is hardly in view; in Judaism, the day begins at sunset.


Tearing of the Curtain

As the Master suffered and died on a Roman cross, the thick veil in the Temple that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies was torn in half—an expression of God's mourning for His Son and an omen for the exile to come.


Not of This World

In response to accusations of sedition, Yeshua evasively told Pontius Pilate that His kingdom was “not of this world.” However, He did not mean that He will never literally rule the earth. The World to Come will conquer this world when the Master returns in glory.


Caiaphas' Kangaroo Court

The Old Testament appears to apply the death penalty liberally, but Jewish law is actually quite strict regarding trial procedure for obtaining a conviction in a capital case. Nearly all these procedural laws were violated by Caiaphas as he sought to put Yeshua to death at all costs.


Sheep and Goats

The image of Yeshua separating the sheep from the goats is familiar to all Gospel readers, but the criteria on which Yeshua decides who is a sheep and who is a goat are often overlooked: the sheep act on behalf of the disenfranchised, and the goats do not.


Birth Pangs of the Messiah

The rabbis taught that before Messiah comes, the world would experience tribulation, like the travail of a woman about to give birth. Yeshua referenced this idea when He told His disciples that wars and natural disasters were only the beginnings of these birth pangs; they do not signify that the end has come.


The Blood of Zechariah

Zechariah, a priest who was killed in the days of Joash, said, "May the LORD see and avenge"; this request was granted when Nebuzaradan slaughtered the Sanhedrin. Yeshua hints that the Romans will do the same to His generation, as they have failed to heed His call to repentance.


Woe to (Some of) the Pharisees

Yeshua had many enemies; among them were some leaders of the Pharisees. These wealthy men loved money and power; they abused the poor and craved public displays of honor. Yet the Talmud relates that the average Pharisee hated this kind of pretension, and preferred to live a humble, modest life.


Render to Caesar

The Herodians and the Pharisees were unlikely allies, but these particular Pharisees shared a common enemy with the Herodians—that is, Yeshua. Their attempt to trap Him with an impossible question, however, fell flat when He exposed their hypocrisy.